Richmond mayor offers reward to help stop illegal fireworks

Bay Area

RICHMOND, Calif. (KRON) – The mayor of Richmond is working to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks.

On Tuesday, Mayor Tom Butt said he will offer a $2,500 reward to residents for reporting the illegal activity to police, but in order to get the reward, the report must lead to an arrest and prosecution.

This reward will come from the Mayor’s Community Fund.

Richmond, as well as other Bay Area cities, have seen the return of illegal fireworks.

Possessing, selling, giving away, storing, using, or discharging fireworks is a misdemeanor in Richmond — You can be fined up to $1,000 or face up to six months in jail.

The mayor says if resident’s want to the fireworks to stop, then the city needs their help.

“People are sick of fireworks going off in their neighborhoods, and they’re fed up that the people setting off fireworks aren’t being caught,” said Mayor Tom Butt. “The danger of fire and injury resulting from fireworks is perhaps the highest we have ever seen. I don’t want to see an apartment building or house burned down, or someone lose a hand, because they didn’t weigh the risk of harm. The effect on pets is another serious result of illegal fireworks.”

“We encourage callers to be specific in guiding us to where the fireworks are coming from. Often we see them in the area but can’t pinpoint a specific street or home. By the time we make it to the area, the participants are nowhere to be found,” Richmond Police Chief Bisa French said.

In 2020, the police department received more than 2,500 reports of illegal fireworks — Only one citation was issued in relation to these reports.

“At this point, people are pleading for any help they can get to have some peace and quiet. If you live in Richmond, you can help your neighbors by calling 9-1-1 if you see someone in the act of using fireworks. Doing so may even get you $2,500,” said Mayor Butt.

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